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What Does the Name Oliver Mean?

By Emma Davies


Updated on

Oliver is a name of Old French and Latin origin that dates back to old England and the Norse word Aleifr, meaning ‘ancestor’s descendants’. The name is often associated with the Latin term ‘olivarius’, which means ‘olive tree planter’.

What Does the Name Oliver Mean

Historically, the olive tree has been a symbol of peace and fruitfulness, and so the name has come to reflect a classic and peaceful appeal. Oliver is a timeless boy’s name that never goes out of style and can be shortened in several ways with common nicknames including Ollie, Oly, and Ol.

  • Name Origin: English/Norse/Latin
  • Name Meaning: Ancestor’s descendant’s or olive tree planter
  • Pronunciation: Oli – Ver
  • Gender: Male

How Popular is the Name Oliver?

The name Oliver was popular during the medieval period in England. However, by the 17th century, the boy’s name started to fall out of favor due to its association with the political leader, Oliver Cromwell. However, there was a resurgence in the 1800s and 1900s and the name remains popular today.

According to data from the Social Security Administration, the name ranked at number 135 in the year 1921. 100 years later, in 2021, the boy’s name ranked number 3 in the popularity chart and 14,616 baby boys were given the name that same year.

Name Variations

Name Meaning Origin
Olivier Olive tree French
Oliwer Look alike of olive plant Polish
Olivio Olive tree Portuguese
Oliviero Olive Italian
Olivér Olive tree Hungarian

Other English Boy Names

Name Meaning
Alfred Wise counsel
Caldwell Cold spring
Godric God’s ruler
Kendrick Royal power
Oscar Friend
Brandon Fiery hill
Bradley Old meadow

Alternative Boy Names Starting with ‘O’

Name Meaning Origin
Odis Wealth German
Odin God of War Norse
Ocean Sea Greek
Ori My light Hebrew
Oz Powerful and courageous Hebrew
Oxley From the ox English
Ori Charitable king India

Famous People Named Oliver

  • Oliver Cromwell – English political leader
  • Oliver Stone – American director, actor, conspiracy theorist and writer
  • Oliver Hardy – American comedic actor
  • Oliver Reed – English actor
  • Oliver Miller – American professional basketball player